One of (the many) great things about having melanin skin is the radiant glow we can show off for all the world to see. As we start to reveal more skin these Spring and Summer seasons, let us allow our healthy-looking, moisturized glow to shine through without the unfortunate appearance of razor bumps. From shaving to waxing to laser treatments, everyone has their individual preferences on the best hair removal methods. But sometimes sis, a wax appointment or laser hair removal sessions just aren't in our schedule — or, even our budget — so it's much easier to grab a razor. 
To achieve the most effective method for shaving and to ensure the best care for your skin this season, board-certified dermatologist and beauty expert, Dr. Mona Gohara, shares her timely guide to shaving for women of color. Check out the essential tips below: 

STEP 1: Give Your Skin A Break

Before shaving, make sure you cleanse your body to remove any dead skin and dirt. I would stay away from using any harsh cleansers, and opt for gentle exfoliation to avoid irritating the skin. The most important thing when using a cleanser or exfoliator is to choose one that is gentle and moisturizing, which is something Dove offers, with their body washes, beauty bars, and exfoliating polish. 

STEP 2: Less Is More

When it comes to shaving less is more in terms of razors, especially for those of us with thicker, curly hair. Multiple razors can irritate the follicle making it more prone to ingrown hairs, irritation and razor bumps. I recommend using 1-2 blade razors, it not only moves across the skin at a gentle angle but also cuts cleanly without pulling the hair to cause nicks. And always shave with the grain of the hair, not against it! A common mistake most people make in hopes of getting a smoother shave is shaving against the hair. This can increase your chance of redness, ingrown hairs and razor burns which for women with darker skin tones can lead to discoloration and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. If that does occur use fading creams and sunscreen as a treatment, and always check with your derm if it doesn’t get better.  

STEP 3: Hydration Is Key 

No matter how much in a rush you are, never shave dry. Use shaving cream or something infused with moisturizers to protect your skin. I’m happy to share that the new Dove Body Wash Mousse, which not only cleanses your skin, but its mousse format is perfect for shaving. And as a bonus — its paraben and sulfate-free formula are created with 100% gentle cleansers and moisturizers to really nourish skin, helping prevent dryness and care for skin, for all day softness while shaving. There are 3 scents inspired by essential oils, Coconut Oil, Rose Oil, and Argan Oil, so there’s something for everyone.

STEP 4: Wrinkle-Free Essentials 

Keep that post shaving glow by using a hydrating sunscreen to keep your face and body protected all day. The most common misconceptions about sunscreen usage among women of color is that we don’t need to use it — but we sure do! Women of color wrinkle less than those with lighter tones. Brown skin has a natural SPF of about 13, while lighter skin has an SPF of about 3. However, 90% of the signs of aging come from daily, unprotected exposure to UV light. Make sure to choose a broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher for everyday use and reapply to your face and body every 2 hours with intense sun exposure.

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